The Parable of the Camel

A traveler set up a tent in the wilderness. He snuggled under his covers for his night’s sleep. The night became cold and his camel poked his nose into the tent. The owner asked the camel, “What are you doing?” The camel replied, “It’s cold outside. If I could only put my nose inside the tent, I will warm up and then spend the rest of the night outside.” The owner agreed to allow the camel to place his nose inside the tent because, after all, the camel’s request made sense and it was only his nose inside the tent. There was still plenty of room for the traveler.

Soon the camel asked, “I’m still cold. Could I please place my head inside your tent? I will warm up soon, and then spend the rest of the night outside.” The traveler considered the request. He didn’t want his camel to be cold so, once again, he granted the camel’s wish because, after all, it was only his head and there was still room for the traveler inside the tent.

After several minutes, the camel said, “May I please place my front feet inside your tent? They are so cold out here. If only I can warm my feet for a few minutes, then I promise I will spend the rest of the night outside.”

The traveler thought about it. There would be less room in the tent, but it was cold and he believed the camel’s promise to spend the rest of the night outside as long as he could warm his feet. The traveler allowed the camel to place his feet inside the tent.

Not long after, the camel asked, “Can I take just a few steps inside? I’m sure I’ll warm up and then I’ll definitely spend the rest of the night outside.” By now the traveler was feeling crowded inside the tent, but he consented to the camel’s request.

After 30 minutes, the camel took a few more steps inside the tent. Before the traveler realized it, the camel had entered completely inside the tent and the traveler’s only option was to go outside and leave the camel inside the tent. So the owner spent the night outside in the cold, filled with regret that he had allowed the camel to first place his nose inside the tent.

And so it is with Satan. He doesn’t just jump into our lives all of a sudden. We allow him into our lives step-by-step, bit-by-bit, little-by-little. Nobody wakes up and says to themselves, “You know what? I think I’m going to commit adultery today.” It begins small and subtle, with impure thoughts. Those thoughts soon move to action, such as viewing pornography. Pornography leads to impure acts, such as masturbation or improper relationships, until we finally commit adultery. If we learn from the Parable of the Camel, we will learn to say “No” and reject the Camel’s nose (or Satan’s temptations) in the very first instant.


1 thought on “The Parable of the Camel

  • During this week, having read the story about the camel, etc.,I have found myself mentally saying on several occasions, “Get your nose out of my tent.” So far, it has worked for me, and maybe, it might work for others who might know about the story.

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